Sunday, March 17, 2013

an announcement (and no I am not engaged)

If you had told me a year ago that today I would be making this announcement I would have laughed at you.

If you had told me six months ago that today I would be making this announcement I would have said, "you're nuts."

Goodness, if you had told me a month ago that today I would be making this announcement, I would've argued you down.

Yet, here I am. About to embark on the biggest adventure of my life.

Friends. I am going on a missions' trip this summer. From June 26th to July 7th.

I'm going to Slovakia.

(There's a whole long back-story that I was going to type out tonight word-for-word out of my journal, but its in my car. And this girl doesn't go outside after dark. So I'll work on that tomorrow. =)

Friday, March 15, 2013

a quick note.

Hi, friends!

Alas, it appears that before the year is out Google Reader and Google Friend Connect will be going away. Sad news. So, if you want to keep up with my blog, you can now follow it with Bloglovin.

Have a great Friday night, folks! :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the get out of jail free card

( this is a topic I will be eventually duscussing in a lot more detail. For now this is just an introduction. I'll hopefully be back later this week with some exciting news and to answer some questions I've received). 

Do you know what I'm referring to in the title of this post? No? Well, its a good thing I'm going to tell you then. : )

Here's the deal: today, we're going to talk about a subject that is super important to me. And I cannot seem to compile my thoughts in a way that makes tons of sense, so just bear with me, friends. Thanks. : )

The "get out of jail free card" is one that we as Christians pull out when we're either about to get in trouble, or we need to get out of it. The  get out of jail free card refers to grace. And if you have been saved for any period of time, you've probably pulled it. 

There are so many Christians out there who are ridiculously legalistic. And when I say ridiculously, I mean it. I get irritated by all the legalism displayed in churches today. Legalism is a topic that goes right along with the grace topic. Because the opposite side of legalism is grace. And people tend to go to one of two extremes. 

Either they are extremely, ridiculously legalistic and think that you have to follow a bunch of rules in order to be holy before God, or they go to the opposite extreme, and say, "well, we're under grace, so we can do whatever we want."

Um. I think Paul wrote about that. Read this:
"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it??" 
Romans 6:1-2

Y'all. Seriously. How would you feel if you were Jesus and you died for sin and then the people you died for just used that to do whatever they wanted? 

We turn grace into a way for us to be able to live however we want. We make grace our fire insurance. That way we can still drink and party and do whatever we want and still go to the big round-up in the sky. Is that right?

Is legalism right? No. I don't think that it is right in any way to be legalistic, and I don't think Jesus was legalistic. Legalism is self-centered. A legalistic heart will do something in order to gain merit in God's eyes. And to be honest, we can't do that. We are as filthy rags in His eyes. Its only when He sees Jesus that He views us as holy. So we can have long hair and only wear skirts and never look at alcohol all day long, and it won't do us any good

I may sound like I'm contradicting myself here. "Legalism is wrong. But you can't use grace as your get out of jail free card." So where is the middle line? How do we be salt and light? (I wrote a little bit about that here).

If I knew all the answer to the grace-legalism question, I would be shouting if from a hilltop. Mom said one time, "I just wish God would tell me what He views as legalistic." Tell me about it! But since we don't know, and His ways aren't our ways, here's my thought:

I don't want to use grace as my get out jail free card. I don't want to continue in sin, just because I know Jesus is going to get me to heaven. I also don't want to be legalistic and judge others because of that. I realize that I can't make myself look holy in God's eye. It ain't happenin'. I just have to live my life, and love Jesus, and make my decisions based on my personal convictions. 

Personal convictions. Where did that come from? Your personal convictions are like your standards. They may be different from mine. And you know what, as long as you are not living in sin or disobeying something that is clearly laid out in Scripture, that's okay! I don't think it's wrong to kiss before the wedding day or get a tattoo. That's between you and God. It might be wrong for me to do those things, but that's between me and God. Not me and you. 

When Jesus was here on Earth, He wasn't constantly judging the people around Him. He wasn't legalistic. So let's be more like Him. And don't use God's grace as something as insignificant as a get out of jail free card.